July 15, 2024

Jayson Tatum, Celtics finalizing NBA-record $314 million extension: Sources

The Boston Celtics are locking in All-NBA star Jayson Tatum on a record deal.

Tatum is finalizing a five-year, $314 million super maximum contract extension with the team through the 2029-30 season, league sources told The Athletic on Monday.

The deal, once finalized, would be the largest in NBA history. The specific figure of his deal is an estimate based on the future salary cap.

Tatum’s new deal will eclipse teammate Jaylen Brown’s for the most total money. Both Brown and Tatum were eligible for the supermax extensions because they made All-NBA teams. Tatum made the first team in each of the past three seasons.

The deal, which can be signed July 6, is expected to replace Tatum’s $37 million player option for 2025-26 from his current contract.

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Tatum, 26, was instrumental in helping guide the Celtics to their record 18th championship last month, averaging 25.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists through 19 playoff games.

He scored 31 points in Games 3 and 5 of the latest NBA Finals as the Celtics clinched the series 4-1 over the Dallas Mavericks.

Through his 513 career games with Boston, Tatum has averaged 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

A five-time NBA All-Star, he also helped the Celtics to playoff appearances in each of the last seven seasons, including a Finals appearance in 2022.

Why Tatum deserves record deal

It’s been quite the day in Boston, as the Celtics agreed to nearly half a billion dollars in contracts and announced the franchise is up for sale. While it was a steal to extend Derrick White, the Tatum contract was the easiest decision they had to make. Just like when he signed his rookie extension, he’ll receive the supermax deal. He’s a fitting winner for the latest edition of “biggest contract in NBA history” after Brown held that title last summer.

Tatum made it clear he is one of the best players in the NBA this year, running one of the best offenses the league has seen in this era while filling just about every role in the frontcourt on defense. He was already worth the money heading into the Celtics’ championship season, but his growth as a defender, rebounder and playmaker was tremendous. Even though he shot poorly throughout the playoff run, he continued to dominate by attacking the paint and finding his teammates as he clinched the title with 11 assists in Game 5 of the Finals last month.



Inside the Celtics’ championship march to Banner 18: ‘We made all the sacrifices’

Now the Celtics are facing the biggest luxury tax in NBA history next season, just as a new owner may be stepping in. The team announced Tuesday in the midst of its spending spree that it intends to put the team up for sale, a shocking move just after winning the championship. Though the expectation they laid out is for managing governor Wyc Grousbeck to remain in charge until 2028, recent transitions in Minnesota and Dallas have shown that may not go as planned. Will a new owner be willing to commit to the hefty tax bill that comes with holding this team together?

There will likely be some difficult financial decisions ahead for the Celtics, but extending Tatum was certainly not one of them. — Jared Weiss, Celtics staff writer

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(Photo: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)